Following a year in which the pandemic forced many Americans to increasingly turn to on-demand streaming video for entertainment, the Television Academy rewarded the streaming services in a big way in the nominations for the 73rd Emmy Awards.
Three streaming series led the way, with Netflix’s “The Crown” and the Disney+ Star Wars action drama “The Mandalorian” each notching 24 nominations. The Disney+ Marvel series “WandaVision” had 23 nominations. It was the first time that the top three nominated shows were all from streaming platforms.
HBO, aided by its year-old streaming service, HBO Max, led all networks with 130 nominations. Netflix was right behind with 129 nominations. Next was Disney+, which picked up 71 nominations in just its second year of existence. NBC was in a distant fourth place with 46 nominations.
The contenders in the best drama category are mostly from the streamers. They include the fourth season of “The Crown”; the second season of the “The Mandalorian”; a former best drama winner, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”; the freshman season of Netflix’s “Bridgerton”; Amazon’s “The Boys”; FX’s “Pose”; HBO’s recently canceled series “Lovecraft Country”; and NBC’s “This Is Us.”
In the comedy category, the Apple TV+ feel-good sports series “Ted Lasso,” starring Jason Sudeikis, scored a nomination, and is the favorite to win the category. It was joined by a pair of HBO Max original series: “The Flight Attendant” and “Hacks.” Kaley Cuoco of “The Flight Attendant” and Jean Smart of “Hacks” were each nominated for best actress in a comedy series. Other nominees in the comedy category included Hulu’s “PEN15” and three Netflix series: “Cobra Kai,” “Emily in Paris” and “The Kominsky Method.”
Only one nominee for best comedy — ABC’s “black-ish” — was from a cable or broadcast network, an all-time low.
Though the streaming services have collected plenty of nominations over the last nine years, big wins have been elusive.
The number of times a streamer has won best drama? That would be one, and it was accomplished four years ago when “The Handmaid’s Tale” took the crown. Number of best comedy winners? Just two. And for best limited series, which has arguably turned into the Emmys’ most exciting category? Zero.
And Netflix — despite investing billions in content over the last few years, and spending plenty of cash on Emmy campaigning — has never won the award in drama, comedy or best limited series, a dry spell that could come to an end this year.
The ceremony will be on Sept. 19 on CBS, and also available on the Paramount+ streaming service.